2011 - Lucy Stone from Nottingham in Connecticut

My interest in travel has truly been ignited, and I’d happily weather the snowstorms to relive my semester exchange all over again.

Clutching all the luggage I could manage I arrived in America as a vision of pink and purple, a great contrast to the mountains of stark white snow. As you might imagine I’m a fairly colourful person, both inside and out, and I was desperate to make the most of my semester exchange 2011.

Despite the Arctic conditions that framed the whole experience, the campus town that hides itself in a forest between Boston and New York has a lot to boast about. It has a huge community of exchange students from around the globe that allowed me to make life long friends and connections. Living in a residence hall as part of ‘The Global House’ threw all the exchange students into a kind of melting pot and got us all talking and interacting. The cultural nights were a huge hit as we got to each share a part of our home country.

The American college experience comes with a compulsory fixation on Basketball. Knowing little about this before I went, I can proudly say I screamed for the UConn Huskies to win the final of the men’s championship. And the encouragement must have done the trick because we found ourselves celebrating the victory in true American style – with toilet roll streamers, music, and the occasional person up a tree!

My interest in cultural diversity has continued since I arrived back in the UK. I now work as a ‘Peer Advisor’ for the international office at the University of Nottingham. This is a hugely exciting role where I encourage other students to study abroad, explain the benefits of exchange, and share my experiences. My interest in travel has truly been ignited, and I’d happily weather the snowstorms to relive my semester exchange all over again.